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Joan Jett (1958)

Type :  


Joan Jett is an American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and actress.

She is best known for her work with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts including their hit cover "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", which was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 from March 20 to May 1, 1982, as well as for their other popular recordings including "Crimson and Clover", "I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Do You Want to Touch Me", "Light of Day", "Love Is All Around", "Bad Reputation", and "Little Liar".

Her musical and songwriting approach is heavily influenced by the hard-edged, hard beat-driven rhythms common to many rock bands of her native Philadelphia, often featuring lyrics surrounding themes of lost love, criticisms of insincerity, the quest for authenticity, as well as the struggles and resolutions of the American middle class. She has three albums that have been certified Platinum or Gold, and she has been referred to as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" many times during her career.


 Early life
Joan Jett was born at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She moved to Rockville, Maryland, in 1967 where she attended Randolph Junior High and Wheaton High School. In her teens, Jett would sneak out at night to go to concerts with friends. She got her first guitar for Christmas from her parents at the age of 13, and she mostly spent time after that writing songs. Joan initially took some guitar lessons, but quit soon after when the instructor kept trying to teach her folk songs. She also became involved with a bartender at a club from the town, at which point her family then relocated to the city of West Covina, California, in Los Angeles County, providing Jett the opportunity to pursue her musical endeavors.

In Los Angeles, Joan interacted with some of her idols, including Suzi Quatro, one of the first female rock musicians who played an instrument on stage. Quatro was vital to Joan's career, and Joan adopted many of Suzi's qualities including her shag haircut and style. Jett would quietly wait in the lobby of various hotels that Suzi was staying in during her US tours, just to catch a glimpse of her. She wore wooden platform shoes with "Suzi Quatro" carved into the side. Her favorite night spot was Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. Joan was further introduced to the glam-rock style she so adored as this genre was explosive in the UK and Europe, but never quite took off in the US. Rodney's was the only place Jett could hear this style of music, and it certainly helped develop her image.

 The Runaways
Jett is a founding member of The Runaways along with drummer Sandy West. Micki Steele , Jackie Fox, Lita Ford, and Cherie Currie completed the line-up. While Currie initially fronted the band, Jett shared some lead vocals, played rhythm guitar and wrote or co-wrote a lot of the band's material along with Ford, West and Currie. The band recorded five LPs, with Live In Japan becoming one of the biggest-selling imports in U.S. and U.K. history. The band toured around the world and some of their opening acts included Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They found success abroad, especially in Japan. In 2010, The Runaways, a movie about Joan Jett's band, was made, starring Kristen Stewart as Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.

While The Runaways were popular in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and South America, they could not garner the same level of success in the U.S. After Currie, the lead singer, left the band, the band released two more albums with Jett handling the lead vocals: Waitin' for the Night and And Now... The Runaways. Altogether they produced five albums from 1975 until they disbanded in spring of 1979 due to musical differences.

Soon after, Jett produced The Germs' first and only album .

In the spring of 1979, Jett was in England pursuing a solo career. She recorded three songs there with Sex Pistols' Paul Cook and Steve Jones (one of which was an early version of The Arrows' "I Love Rock 'n' Roll").

Later that year, she returned to Los Angeles, where she began fulfilling an obligation of the Runaways' to complete a film—loosely based on the band's career—called We're All Crazee Now! Three actresses required to stand in for her departed band members included the iconic cult star Rainbeaux Smith, who was also a rock drummer. While working on the project, Jett met songwriter and producer Kenny Laguna, who was hired by Toby Mamis to help Jett with writing some tracks for the film. They became friends and decided to work together and she relocated to Long Beach, New York where Kenny Laguna was based. The plug was pulled on the project halfway through shooting with Jett being ill, but in 1984, after Jett had become a major star, producers looked for a way to make use of the footage from the incomplete film. Bits of the original footage of Jett were used in a completely different project, an underground movie called DuBeat-Eo, never commercially released, produced by Alan Sacks.

Jett and Laguna entered The Who’s Ramport Studios with the latter at the helm. Jett's self-titled solo debut was released in Europe on May 17, 1980. In the US, after the album was rejected by 23 major labels, Jett and Laguna released it independently on their new Blackheart Records label, which they started with Laguna's daughter's college savings. Laguna remembers, "We couldn't think of anything else to do, but print up records ourselves", and that's how Blackheart Records started.

 Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

With Laguna's assistance, Jett formed the Blackhearts. She placed an ad in the L.A. Weekly "looking for three good men." John Doe of X sat in on bass for the auditions held at S.I.R. studios in Los Angeles. He mentioned a local bass player, Gary Ryan, who had recently been crashing on his couch. Ryan was part of the L.A. punk scene and had played bass with local artists Top Jimmy and Rik L. Rik. He had been a fan of the Runaways and Jett for years. Jett recognized him at the audition and he was in. Ryan in turn recommended guitarist Eric Ambel, who was also at the time part of Rik L. Rik. The final addition to the original Blackhearts was drummer Danny "Furious" O'Brien, formerly of the infamous San Francisco band The Avengers. This line-up played several gigs at the Golden Bear and Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood before embarking on their first European tour which consisted of an extensive tour of the Netherlands, and a few key shows in England including the Marquee in London.

Upon returning to the States, Jett, Ryan, and Ambel moved to Long Beach, New York. O'Brien stayed behind in England to pursue other interests. Auditions were set up and Lee Crystal, formerly of The Boyfriends and Sylvain Sylvain, became the new drummer. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts then toured throughout the US and built quite a following in New York. Jett and Laguna soon used their personal savings to press up copies of the Joan Jett album and set up their own system of independent distribution, sometimes selling the albums out of the trunk of Laguna's Cadillac at the end of each concert. Laguna was unable to keep up with demand for her album. Eventually, old friend and founder of Casablanca Records, Neil Bogart, made a joint venture with Laguna and signed Jett to his new label, Boardwalk Records and re-released the Joan Jett album as Bad Reputation. After a year of touring and recording, The Blackhearts recorded a new album entitled I Love Rock 'n Roll for the label. Ambel was replaced by local guitarist Ricky Byrd during the recording.

With Byrd on guitar, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts recorded their hit album. The new single was a re-recording of the title track, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", which in the first half of 1982 was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in a row. It is Billboard’s #56 song of all time.

A string of Top 40 hits followed, as well as sellout tours with The Police, Queen, and Aerosmith, among others. She was among the first English-speaking rock acts to appear in Panama and the Dominican Republic.

After receiving her own MTV New Year's Eve special, Jett beat out a number of contenders to appear in the movie Light of Day with Michael J. Fox. Bruce Springsteen wrote the song "Light of Day" especially for the movie, and her performance was critically acclaimed. It was about this time that Ryan and Crystal left the Blackhearts. They were soon replaced by the powerful rhythm section of Thommy Price and Kasim Sulton. Later that year, Jett released Good Music, which featured appearances by The Beach Boys, The Sugarhill Gang and singer Darlene Love.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts became the first rock band to perform a series of shows at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, breaking the record at the time for the fastest ticket sell-out. Her next release, Up Your Alley, went multi-platinum and was followed by The Hit List, which was an album consisting of cover songs. During this time, Jett co-wrote the song "House of Fire", which appeared on Alice Cooper's 1989 album Trash.

Her 1991 release Notorious, which featured The Replacements' Paul Westerberg and former Billy Idol bassist Phil Feit, was the last with Sony/CBS as Jett switched to Warner Brothers. A CD single of "Let's Do It" featuring Jett and Westerberg was also released during this time and appeared in the song credits for the movie Tank Girl. In 1993, Jett and Laguna released Flashback, a compilation of various songs on their own Blackheart Records.

Jett produced several bands prior to releasing her debut and her label Blackheart Records released recordings from varied artists such as thrash metal band Metal Church and rapper Big Daddy Kane.

The press touted Jett as the "Godmother of Punk" and the "Original Riot Grrrl." In 1994, the Blackhearts released the well-received Pure and Simple, which featured tracks written with Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland, L7's Donita Sparks and Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna.

 Later years

Jett returned to producing for the band Circus Lupus in 1992 and again, in 1994, for Bikini Kill. This recording was the New Radio EP for which she also played and sang back-up vocals. The Riot Grrrl movement started in the 1990s, with Bikini Kill as a representative band, and many of these women credited Jett as a role model and inspiration.

In 1997 Joan Jett was featured on the We Will Fall: The Iggy Pop Tribute record. She performed a cover of the Johnny O'Keefe song "Wild One" (or "Real Wild Child").

Near the end of the 1990s she worked with members of the punk band The Gits, whose lead singer and lyricist, Mia Zapata, had been raped and murdered in 1993. The results of their collaboration was a live LP, Evil Stig and a single, "Bob", whose earnings were contributed to the investigation of Zapata's murder. To this end, the band and Jett appeared on the TV show America's Most Wanted, appealing to the public for information. The case was solved in 2004, when Zapata's murderer, Jesus Mezquia, was brought to trial and convicted.

Jett performed "I Love Rock 'n Roll" with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 19, 2005.

Jett is a guest artist on Marky Ramone's solo album Start of the Century on the track "Don't Blame Me".

She is a guest vocalist on Peaches' album Impeach My Bush on the tracks "Boys Want to Be Her" and "You Love It".

At an October 2001 9/11 benefit in Red Bank, New Jersey, Jett and Springsteen appeared together on stage for the first time and played "Light Of Day". Jett, overcome with emotion, declared it one of the greatest moments in her career.

In 2004, Jett and Laguna produced "No Apologies" by Warped Tour favorite The Eyeliners, after signing them. Jett also guested on the track "Destroy" and made a cameo appearance in the music video.

In 2005, Jett discovered Cleveland punk rockers The Vacancies. She and Laguna signed the band and produced their second album, A Beat Missing or a Silence Added and their third album in 2007, Tantrum.

In 2005, she was recruited by Steven Van Zandt to host her own radio show on Van Zandt's Underground Garage radio channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. She hosted a four-hour show titled Joan Jett's Radio Revolution, broadcast every Saturday and Sunday. The program moved from Sirius 25 to Sirius 28 shortly before being canceled in June 2008.

In 2005, Jett and Laguna celebrated the 25th anniversary of Blackheart Records with a sellout show at Manhattan's Webster Hall, which featured their groups The Eyeliners and The Vacancies as openers to the headlining act, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

In June 2006, Joan Jett released her album, Sinner, on her own label, Blackheart Records. To support the album, the band appeared on the 2006 Warped Tour and on a fall 2006 tour with Eagles of Death Metal. Various other bands like Antigone Rising, Valient Thorr, The Vacancies, Throw Rag and Riverboat Gamblers were to have joined the tour for a handful of dates each.

Jett sang a duet with Chase Noles on "Tearstained Letters", a song on the Heart Attacks' 2006 album, Hellbound and Heartless.

A Joan Jett video with Paul, Paul Jr. and Mikey Teutul of the Learning Channel show American Chopper aired on January 14, 2007. The making of that video was presented in a segment of the show that aired on The Learning Channel on February 22, 2007. In late June, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts performed at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, following a Florida Marlins baseball game.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts headlined the Albuquerque, New Mexico Freedom Fourth celebration on July 4, 2007, with an estimated crowd of 65,000 in attendance at the annual outdoor event.

In November 2007, Jett and the Blackhearts appeared with Motörhead and Alice Cooper in a UK arena tour, that leg constituting a "reconciliation" of sorts with Jett's former personal manager, Toby Mamis, now the co-manager of Alice Cooper, and Jett opened eight American shows on Aerosmith's 2007 World Tour.

Following The Dave Clark Five's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on March 10, 2008, Jett, as part of the ceremony, closed the program with a performance of the DC5's 1964 hit "Bits and Pieces." She was introduced by actor Tom Hanks, who said, "Ladies and gentlemen — at one time, if I had been lucky, one of the most beautiful 'Mrs. Tom Hanks' you can imagine, but I'm not complainin' — Joan Jett!"

Jett and the Blackhearts appeared on several dates of the True Colors Tour 2008. in the summer of 2008. She opened for Def Leppard in August.

On April 24, 2010, it was announced on Green Day's official website that Jett would be supporting them on their summer European tour.

In June 2010, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts opened for Green Day on their UK tour alongside acts such as Frank Turner and Paramore.

The group was the opening act for Aerosmith's September 2010 Canadian tour.

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts were part of the lineup for Australia's The Falls Music & Arts Festival, December 29 through January 1, 2010, in Australia.

 Current projects
Jett was an executive producer for the film The Runaways, which chronicled the Runaways' career. Floria Sigismondi, who directed videos for Marilyn Manson, the White Stripes and David Bowie, wrote and directed. Production of the movie began filming around Twilight's Kristen Stewart's filming schedule, . Stewart played Joan Jett in the film. In order to prepare for the role, Stewart met Jett around the 08/09 New Year. In an interview, Stewart revealed that she hoped to be able to sing some of the songs in the film. The film explores the friendship between Jett and Runaways' lead singer, Cherie Currie, played by Dakota Fanning, and premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 24, 2010. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts appeared at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, at Harry-O's, for The Runaways promotion, which was also attended by Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.

March 2010 saw the release of a 2-CD Greatest Hits album with 4 newly re-recorded songs, 3 of which are Runaways hits, and one a track from her I Love Rock 'N' Roll album. March 2010 also saw the release of a hardcover biography and picture book, spanning her career from the Runaways to the present day.
She also toured in Lewiston, Idaho's "Rockin on the River" music festival held in Clarkston, Washington.

 Other work
Jett, a sports fan, has remained actively involved in the sports world. Her cover of "Love is All Around" became an anthem in women's sports and was used by the NCAA to promote the Women's Final Four, as well as the song "Unfinished Business" which was never commercially released. "Love Is All Around" went into radio play and became the number one requested song without an existing CD. Jett supplied theme songs for the ESPN X-Games premiere and has contributed music to all their games since. At Cal Ripken Jr.'s request, she sang the national anthem, at the Baltimore Orioles game in which he tied Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. The melody for her song "I Hate Myself For Loving You" is used as the theme music for NBC Sunday Night Football with re-worked lyrics and retitled "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night". Jett has also been a consistent supporter of the US Armed Forces, has toured for the USO for over 20 years, and even played West Point. On May 15, 2006, Jett visited the Pentagon, and many photographs were taken with personnel.

In 1983, musical satirist "Weird Al" Yankovic released a parody of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" entitled "I Love Rocky Road," changing the singer's passion for rock music with that for ice cream. Yankovic's parody covered Jett's version completely, save for her guitar riffs which were replaced by Yankovic's accordion.

The comic strip Bloom County included a character named Tess Turbo. Her band was The Blackheads.

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  Played TV shows  




Name Duration Released
School Days 03:02 2010
You Drive Me Wild 03:52 2010
A 100 Feet Away 02:33 13/06/2006
Change the World 03:07 13/06/2006
A.C.D.C. 03:20 13/06/2006
Riddles 04:01 13/06/2006
Science Fiction 03:54 27/04/2004
Can't Live Without You 02:34 27/04/2004
Androgynous 03:08 27/04/2004
Season of the Witch 05:03 27/04/2004
Bad Time 04:59 27/04/2004
Tube Talkin' 03:37 27/04/2004
Naked 04:07 27/04/2004
Watersign 03:10 27/04/2004
Kiss On The Lips 03:22 27/04/2004
Everyone Knows 03:10 27/04/2004
Turn It Around 03:45 27/04/2004
Right In The Middle 03:48 27/04/2004
Five 05:16 27/04/2004
Hanky Panky 03:29 1999
Baby Blue 04:06 1999
Fetish 03:23 1999
We're All Crazy Now 00:00 1995
Last to Know 00:00 1995
I'll Never Get Away 00:00 1995
Spear and Magic Helmet 00:00 1995
You Can't Get Me 00:00 1995
Drinking Song 00:00 1995
Drunks 00:00 1995
Bob 00:00 1995
Second Skin 00:00 1995
Sign of the Crab 00:00 1995
Another Shot of Whiskey 00:00 1995
Whirlwind 00:00 1995
What Can I Do For You 00:00 1995
Guilt Within Your Head 00:00 1995
You Got A Problem 03:57 14/06/1994
Consumed 04:40 14/06/1994
Insecure 03:11 14/06/1994
As I Am 04:35 14/06/1994
Rubber & Glue 03:19 14/06/1994
Spinster 02:44 14/06/1994
Hostility 03:37 14/06/1994
Eye To Eye 03:30 14/06/1994
World Of Denial 04:14 14/06/1994
Go Home 02:42 14/06/1994
Brighter Day 06:06 14/06/1994
Time Has Come Today 00:00 1993
Gotcha 00:00 1993
Activity Grrrl 00:00 1993
Have You Ever Seen the Rain? 00:00 1993
Roadrunner USA 00:00 1993
Wonderin' 00:00 1993
Torture 00:00 1993
Rebel, Rebel 00:00 1993
Ashes in the Wind 04:22 20/08/1991
Wait for Me 00:00 20/08/1991
Backlash 03:28 20/08/1991
I Want You 03:04 20/08/1991
Treadin' Water 03:38 20/08/1991
Machismo 04:13 20/08/1991
Goodbye 04:00 20/08/1991
Don't Surrender 04:10 20/08/1991
Lie to Me 04:30 20/08/1991
The Only Good Thing 04:27 20/08/1991
Misunderstood 03:56 20/08/1991
The Kinks 05:28 16/01/1990
Sex Pistols 03:24 16/01/1990
The Everly Brothers 03:47 16/01/1990
The Modern Lovers 03:34 16/01/1990
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 03:18 16/01/1990
The Doors 03:07 16/01/1990
Creedence Clearwater Revival 03:33 16/01/1990
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 03:01 16/01/1990
The Chambers Brothers 04:13 16/01/1990
ZZ Top 02:23 16/01/1990
You Want In, I Want Out 04:15 23/05/1988
I Still Dream About You 03:23 23/05/1988
I Wanna Be Your Dog 05:12 23/05/1988
Tulane 02:54 23/05/1988
Little Liar 04:01 23/05/1988
Play That Song Again 03:42 23/05/1988
Ridin' with James Dean 03:17 23/05/1988
Back It Up 03:31 23/05/1988
I Hate Myself for Loving You 04:07 23/05/1988
Desire 03:53 23/05/1988
Just Like in the Movies 03:05 23/05/1988
Good Music 05:45 09/12/1986
You Got Me Floatin' 03:30 09/12/1986
Just Lust 03:16 09/12/1986
Outlaw 04:16 09/12/1986
Black Leather 03:59 09/12/1986
Fun, Fun, Fun 02:19 09/12/1986
If Ya Want My Luv 03:53 09/12/1986
Roadrunner 03:33 09/12/1986
This Means War 03:37 09/12/1986
Contact 03:11 09/12/1986
Frustrated 04:37 1984
Push and Stomp 03:03 1984
Mucho Tiempo 02:27 1984
Esconde Y Busca 00:00 1984
I Love You Love Me Love 03:18 1984
Someday 02:47 1984
Hablando Sobre Mi Bebe (Talkin' Bout My Baby) 03:37 1984
Algun Dia 02:47 1984
Cherry Bomb 02:35 1984
New Orleans 02:54 1984
Bomba De Cereza 02:35 1984
Amor Como El Mio 04:01 1984
Love Like Mine 04:01 1984
Bombs Away 00:00 1984
No Puedo Controlarme (I Can't Control Myself) 00:00 1984
I Need Someone 03:15 1984
Bird Dog 00:00 1984
Empuja Y Zapatea 03:03 1984
Talkin' Bout My Baby 03:37 1984
I Can't Control Myself 00:00 1984
Long Time 02:27 1984
Hide And Seek 00:00 1984
Frustrada 04:37 1984
Hold Me 03:11 1984
I Got No Answers 02:27 1984
Necesito Alguien 03:15 1984
The French Song 03:35 1983
Star Star 04:00 1983
Secret Love 04:03 1983
A Hundred Feet Away 02:33 1983
Had Enough 02:26 1983
Everyday People 02:40 1983
Coney Island Whitefish 03:35 1983
Handyman 03:23 1983
I Love Playing With Fire 03:03 1983
Fake Friends 03:23 1983
Why Can't We Be Happy 03:53 1983
Tossin' & Turnin 02:25 1983
Crimson and Clover 03:17 18/12/1981
Nag 02:46 18/12/1981
Love Is Pain 03:07 18/12/1981
(I'm Gonna) Run Away 02:27 18/12/1981
Little Drummer Boy 04:14 18/12/1981
I Love Rock 'n' Roll 02:55 18/12/1981
You're Too Possessive 03:35 18/12/1981
Be Straight 02:40 18/12/1981
Bits and Pieces 02:07 18/12/1981
Victim of Circumstance 02:54 18/12/1981
You Don't Know What You've Got 00:00 23/01/1980
Don't Abuse Me 00:00 23/01/1980
Make Believe 00:00 23/01/1980
Jezebel 00:00 23/01/1980
Bad Reputation 00:00 23/01/1980
Shout 00:00 23/01/1980
Doing All Right With The Boys 00:00 23/01/1980
Let Me Go 00:00 23/01/1980
Do You Want to Touch Me 00:00 23/01/1980
Too Bad On Your Birthday 00:00 23/01/1980
You Don't Own Me 00:00 23/01/1980
Wooly Bully 00:00 23/01/1980
MCA 03:14
Real Wild Child 00:00
She Lost You 02:55
Call Me Lightning 02:24
Light of Day 03:32
Stand Up For Yourself 03:53
Fantasy 04:16
Heartbeat 03:11
I Hate Long Goodbyes 02:26
Play With Me 03:19
Indian Giver 03:06
Bring It On Home 03:23
Summertime Blues 02:15
Be My Lover 02:57
Louie, Louie 02:57


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Joan Jett", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.